If you are a limited company contractor, you can claim tax relief on training courses as long as the course is relevant to your line of work. 

What training costs can I claim expenses for?

As is the case with other expenses, HMRC rules dictate that if a cost is wholly and exclusively for the use of the business, you can claim tax relief against the expenses.

In order to qualify for expenses, the training must have the goal of providing, enhancing or reinforcing any knowledge, competence, or personal proficiency which will enable or improve an individual’s ability to perform their duties. Any costs associated with undergoing training, such as the costs of travelling to an alternative location or accommodation are allowable so long as the training takes place at a temporary location.

Claiming expenses for overseas training

HMRC will generally only consider overseas training allowable if you can show that it is necessary to complete this training in order to carry out your duties. Costs for training will not normally be expensed unless you can demonstrate the following:

•Proof that the trip is not personal by providing an itinerary which details the events or activities involved

•Show that the nature of the training is essential to your duties and that they could not be performed without attending the training 

What expenses cannot be claimed?

If you decide to undertake a training course which is not directly related to your expertise or field of work, this cannot be claimed as a legitimate training expense. You also cannot claim expenses on degree courses or the cost of ongoing qualifications. 

Work-related training costs can be paid for through your company and you will be able to claim the costs as an expense though only if the training will build on or improve an individual’s existing skills.

If your training is in a new skill, this will be considered a capital expenditure and your company will only be able to claim Capital Allowances. This means that training is seen as an asset of the company and the cost of the training is taken off before your annual profit is calculated. Each year you will need to pay back the company a small amount as this is the depreciation in value of the asset (i.e. the training). We do recommend you speak to your accountant to see if this is the best method for you to use.

How can Nixon Williams help?

Many contractors working for themselves will need to keep their skills up to date so it is important to understand what you can claim. If you have any questions about claiming expenses, please call 01253 843180 or email info@nixonwilliams.com to speak to a member of our new business team.


See more of our guides to expenses